After romping to a fourth straight Class 2A title in December, Abbeville High School’s football team earned a well-deserved rest.
But those jerseys weren’t hanging up long.
On Thursday, the Panthers and their coaching staff arrived in Columbia to be honored on the state House floor, where lawmakers gave them a standing ovation.
“The beauty of high school sports is that things change every year. Each athlete grows, graduates and then a younger crop of players come in and then they get their opportunity to shine. Fortunes rise and fall with each class,” said state Rep. Craig Gagnon, R-Abbeville. “Seldom are high school teams at the top of the heap year in and year out, but there are exceptions.”
Abbeville topped Barnwell 48-14 on Dec. 7 for its fourth consecutive championship, adding to a legacy that includes 10 overall state titles — good for second all-time, regardless of classification — and running their playoff winning streak to 19.
They also haven’t lost at Hite Stadium since 2014 — 34 games ago — en route to a 54-3-1 record over the last four years.
“These young men have made their mark not only in the annals of Abbeville High School football, but South Carolina football,” Gagnon said. “This group of seniors have upheld the winning tradition of Abbeville football and raised the bar to a new level of experience.”